Nashville SC started their six-game preseason slate on January 30 with a match against Swedish side IF Elfsborg, before facing the Chicago Fire and Louisville City. The expansion side also had matches against the Montreal Impact, FC Cincinnati and D.C. United to round out their preseason exploits ahead of their debut campaign in the league.
They have one of the hardest season-openers they could have wished for as 2018 MLS Cup champions Atlanta United travel to Tennessee for the club’s first-ever MLS regular-season game. They then go on the road to face the Portland Timbers and Toronto FC, before a home game against the Columbus Crew. That is followed by a visit from the reigning MLS Cup champions, Seattle Sounders, on April 4. Not an easy start.
The expansion derby, as such, comes on May 3rd when Nashville host Inter Miami CF. It is the first of a triple-header on home turf, with the Tennessee-based team then facing FC Dallas and Philadelphia Union over the next 11 days. Nashville then go on the road for a mammoth seven-game run which lasts more than a month. They will travel to Vancouver, Houston, Cincinnati, Minnesota, San Jose, and Los Angeles twice in easily their hardest run of the new season.
In late July and early August, the new MLS side have a five-match run at home, encompassing return fixtures with the Dynamo, Minnesota, LAFC and the Earthquakes, as well as facing Real Salt Lake in the first of those five matches. Nashville’s final game of the regular season could be the toughest of them all as they travel to CenturyLink Field to take on the reigning MLS Cup champions, the Seattle Sounders.
Nashville SC have plenty of MLS experience in their midst, but there are serious concerns regarding the overall quality of the squad. The investment has been minimal and the improvements they have made stented. This could be a tough inaugural season in MLS.